National Nurses United

National Nurse magazine January-February-March 2020

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facility-wide subcommittee to deal solely with WPV prevention and agreeing to nurses' demand to have two nurses sit on that subcommit- tee. Also, if a nurse has a WPV incident, the RN can take adminis- trative time for up to two days instead of using sick time. Visitors are now required to check in with security and get a badge for a particular area. Metal detectors are being phased in and 14 additional security officers were hired. Since January 2020, additional shuttles now run between the hospital and the parking structures, which are on an iso- lated route that nurses are not comfortable walking late at night. UCSD also agreed to paid crisis prevention and intervention (CPI) training, which was a big victory. "The CPI class was modified to fit our patient population: people with traumatic brain injuries," said Scott. "Ninety percent of the floor attended the training and we also got increased rounding by security. Calls to security dropped by 50 percent." Her unit now has a security officer stationed 24/7. When UCLA nurses were surveyed in May 2019, the results included the following findings: 71 percent of the WPV experienced occurred in the nurses' unit, only 19 percent of nurses said their unit has a workplace violence plan, and 65 percent of nurses want improved trainings for staff. It was clear that UCLA was not complying with the law. In Sep- tember 2019, the nurses presented to UCLA's CNE and the safety and security officer their list of recommendations, including unit-specific workplace violence prevention plans and improved training for staff. "It wasn't until we had this law that we could get UCLA to listen to us," said Marcia Santini, RN, who has worked in UCLA's emergency department on the Westwood campus for three decades and is a member of her facility's PPC and its WPV prevention subcommittee, which formed in April 2019. Ewald, the nurse who had been kicked in the head and also serves on the PPC's WPV subcommittee, agreed, adding, "The gains we've made, we owe to CNA because of the work- place violence law. We have more strength because of the law and because CNA helped many of us exercise our rights." Like their colleagues at UCSD, last year, UCLA nurses got man- agement to agree to paid CPI training, with higher-risk units given priority. UCLA nurses also got management to agree to quarterly walk-throughs of every area where nurses work, from the hospital to the parking structures, to identify potential problem areas and to verify if problems had been fixed. The walk-throughs include PPC members, management, security, and the environmental services department. As of this writing, the first quarterly walk-through was being scheduled for 2020. Another win for the UCLA nurses was get- ting the right to have four PPC members on the facility-wide WPV prevention committee, which had its first meeting in January 2020. Although these victories were sweet, their employers are still not doing enough, so UC nurses continue advocating and organizing to hold them accountable. And they are willing to take action. In November 2019, UCLA nurses held a WPV press conference to put UC on notice and in December, RNs at UC Davis and UC San Fran- cisco held WPV rallies. Nurses want a safe place to work and a safe place for patients to heal. At monthly PPC meetings at each UC medical center, WPV is always discussed, plus every month there's a UC statewide division committee meeting on WPV prevention with nurse leader represen- tatives from each facility to share ideas, successes, and next steps. "We still need unit-specific plans," said Santini. "And nurses are now working with UCLA hospital security to do an active shooter plan and drills. We need drills so that if someone walked in that door, we know what we are going to do." At UCSD, Scott said they are still working on getting all entrances secured. "Too many exits aren't secure," said Scott who says they've found people experiencing homelessness sleeping in empty lobby areas after hours. "You need to mobilize, stay strong, and continue to fight for your own protections if you aren't seeing progress in your own facilities," advised Santini. "Reach out to CNA because the union has fought for this right for years." Chuleenan Svetvilas is a communications specialist at National Nurses United. J A N U A R Y | F E B R U A R Y | M A R C H 2 0 2 0 W W W . N A T I O N A L N U R S E S U N I T E D . O R G N A T I O N A L N U R S E 15 Organizing tips for workplace violence prevention Here's some advice from the UC nurses for RNs who want to make their medical centers safer places to work. 3 Do a risk assessment, identify the weak spots, and work with the department managers. 3 Use collective action. 3 Reach out to your union. 3 Find nurses willing to tell their stories of workplace violence. 3 Get a committee of nurses to focus on WPV prevention. 3 If you are not making headway, escalate it up the chain. 3 Take the issue to legislators.

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